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September 07, 2005

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Sorry for the lack of indepth analysis...I tend to have a pessimistic outlook on most of these matters, and I'm sure people have heard that enough.

I keep thinking about the last episode of Six Feet Under when David and Keith were married, and the show made sure viewers knew it was a marriage recognized by the state. Not just a commitment ceremony. Seeing such a long-suffering couple, a couple who made it through more crises than anyone can imagine, finally being able to celebrate their love with the blessing of their government, it brough a tear to my eye. David was one of many conservative men who felt that being gay was a punishment, that he would never be able to have any semblance of a normal life, a marriage, children. He was the Fisher who wanted these gifts, and the irony of course was the government said he could never have them. It was a true gift to see him finally get his reward in the last episode, to be able to have a husband and two loving children. If only we were that lucky in real life.

On the California front, I fear this is going to be pretty rough. The measure getting through the Assembly was pretty amazing; thank LA Mayor Villaraigosa for helping with Latino Dem legislators. I don't think vetoing the bill will be enough to help Arnold much at the polls. He is going to get hammered on his special election initiatives this fall -- that seems pretty clear, though vast sums of money and effort will have to be spent before November.

So we'll almost certainly face one or more anti-gay marriage measures in the June gubernatorial primary next year. Fortunately, our Dem Attorney General has written a ballot title that will help us get out the message that these measures aim to actually take away rights from gay folks. This will help some. Because Arnold looks very vulnerable, the Democratic primary will be hotly contested (currently Angelides and Westly, could be more). That might help some too, bringing out a less conservative electorate. ( But then, if it still looks like Arnold is vulnerable, I wouldn't be surprised if he backed out, creating a vigourous Republican primary.) it will be very hard to win a gay marriage fight at the polls, but I do think we'll have as good a shot next June as we have ever had -- though perhaps still not good enough. This is one of those issues that awaits the replacement of the existing electorate by a younger generation.

I'm sadly in agreement with you, JamesB3 and janinsanfran. I applauded AG Lockyer's crafty (and accurate) ballot title for the upcoming amendment - "Marriage. Elimination of Domestic Partnership Rights." But unless there is a major surge of funding and a forceful campaign against this amendment and one other that would write into the California Constitution prohibitions of gay marriage, gay civil unions and contracts between gays that help them get over the inequities created because they can't marry, I think our state may turn out to be one of the more retrograde ones when it comes to civil rights instead of one of the most progressive.

A piece of me does have hopes for the long run, however. In 1974, after Boulder, Colorado's city council passed one of the nation's first gay rights laws - barring discrimination in employment and housing - citizens passed an initiative repealing the law and recalled the only gay city councilman. But 13 years later, Boulder activists managed to make the nation's first city to pass a gay rights ordinance by a popular vote.

I doubt that the major CA papers will do any gay-baiting--that is not their style. The problems are mostly in the Central Valley and smaller cities and suburbs. Nor do I think the papers will tout this as a big plus for Arnold. The SF Chronicle runs very critical stories exposing the corruption in his administration almost daily, and the LA Times was certainly no fan of his. Even in the OC these days there is a recognition this is a pluralist society.

Arnold is in a bind, because all he really had was his supposed star power. He didn't have ideology on his side. Right wingers voted for McClintock. He evidently got a lot of votes from Latinos, but his approval rating with that group was 16% in the last poll. He pretended he had a fresh approach, but it has gone more than stale now.

So, he still has the business constituency, since he has been so good to them, but they have to be questioning his competence. He doesn't govern; he leaves that to subordinates who carve out fiefs and so there is no coordinated policy. He travels around at taxpayer expense doing PR stunts, and that is getting old as well. He really doesn't have much of anything going for him now. He went into politics for the adulation, and it is gone. If his ballot initiatives fail, I'd be surprised if he runs again. But he'll probably announce it at the last minute, just like he did when he first ran, thus screwing the other GOP candidates, so none of them will win either and show him up. Big body, small man.

How long could Schwarzenegger have waited to announce his veto or non-veto? Because as Mimikatz says, if his ballot initiatives fail this November, it's hard for me to see how or why he runs again. What's the fun in being a Hollywood star and losing to a nobody like Angelides?

If he expects not to run, then signing the bill would have made sense. He'd have ended as a semi-moderate but failed reformer who at least had the advantage of signing one historic piece of legislation. This veto pretty clearly means he intends to run, but that in itself is a little mind-boggling. I guess he doesn't think his goose is cooked yet.

If he vetoes this, loses his initiatives in two months, and then decides not to run, I am going to be pissed.

And supposing that happens... when is the next legislative session? Leno said he didn't want to pass this in an election year.

====================

Ok, I answered the technical questions on my own. Arnold had until Oct 9th to veto or not-veto. The Legislature reconvenes January 4th.

Having closed most of that circle... I guess everybody really did know that Arnold was going to veto and this bill was dead before it passed. I'm surprised Leno was able to get such a bold statement out of wary legislators who knew nothing would come of their public stand. And if Arnold declares November 9th that he's not running, I'm still going to be pissed. He should have known his goose was cooked and made a move for the history books.

I'm with Mimikatz on this -- if Arnold doesn't run again for governor, he'll go out the way he came in -- at the last minute, screwing the rest of the Republican field. It will be his best way to eke some drama out of an ugly exit with his tail between his legs.

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